Tag Archives: Otolaryngology

‘The Fantasticks’ sprints to Maxwell stage

Just two weeks into the 2015-16 school year, the Georgia Regents University Department of Music and the American Opera and Musical Theater Institute present “The Fantasticks,” a staple of musical theater for more than 50 years.

“It’s a very small show,” said Patti Myers, a lecturer in music. “We’re using the original instrumentation – just a piano and a harp – which is why we thought that if we’re going to do something in a rush, then we’re going to do something like this.”

While the term rush might imply poor planning, starting so early in the school year was actually a deliberate, calculated decision.

“By doing it this early – and we’ve never done it like this before – we’re jumping way ahead of everyone else in the art community,” said Tonya Currier, director of the American Opera Institute. “There’s no symphony, there’s no Harry Jacobs, there’s no conflict.”

Performances are August 28 and 29 at 8 p.m. at the Maxwell Theatre, and tickets are still available for both shows.

The show, billed as the “World’s Longest Running Musical,” debuted in the 1960s and produced a couple of well-known songs, including “Try to Remember,” which has become a standard for vocalists of several generations.

“It’s actually kind of poetic, even a little Shakespearean sometimes,” Myers said of the show. “It’s kind of a fable about growing up.”

The cast, made up of students, community members, an alumnus and a retired professor, started rehearsing about three weeks before school started.

Next semester, the Institute will mount a production of Mozart’s opera, “The Marriage of Figaro,” which will take place over Valentine’s Day weekend.

“We actually have two love stories this season, which is part of what we want to stress,” Currier said. “Come fall in love with us.”

The American Opera and Musical Theater Institute is an educational training program designed to prepare young vocal talent for professional careers in musical theater and opera performance.

“We’re hopefully bringing professionals together with our students and creating beautiful music and theater that they can learn from,” Currier said. “We want them to experience what it’s like to be in the real world while at the same time protect them.”

Protecting young voices is something that’s actually built into the program. Besides the music department, the Institute includes professors from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science as well as physicians from the Department of Otolaryngology.

Tickets for “The Fantasticks” can be purchased online here or at the Maxwell Theatre box office, which is open Monday-Thursday from 1-5 p.m. and Friday through the start of the show. The box office will be open an hour before the Saturday performance.

Tickets are free for students with a valid JagCard, $5 for faculty, staff, non-GRU students and children, $8 for GRU alumni, seniors and military and $10 for the general public.

 

Free thyroid screenings Sept. 30

AUGUSTA, Ga. – About 63,000 people will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer this year, and nearly 2,000 of them will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. But if detected early, the chances of survival are very good.

The GRHealth Thyroid/Parathyroid Center wants to make sure you get the prompt care you may need by offering free thyroid screenings from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Sept. 30. Thyroid experts will perform physical exams and ultrasounds and offer risk assessments and treatment advice.

“Through the hormones it produces, the thyroid gland influences almost all of the metabolic processes in the body. That’s why thyroid disorders are so significant. They can range from a small, harmless goiter – an enlarged gland that needs no treatment – to cancer,” said Dr. David Terris, the Center’s Surgical Director and one of America’s Top Doctors in Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery.

Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. Most people with thyroid cancer have no known risk factors, so it’s difficult to prevent most cases of this disease.

Symptoms that could indicate a thyroid problem include:

• Thyroid lump (nodule)
• Neck swelling
• Difficulty swallowing
• Enlargement of the thyroid gland
• Hoarseness or changing voice

Walk-ins are allowed, but appointments are preferred as space is limited. Please call 706-721-4400 to schedule a free screening. The Thyroid/Parathyroid Center is part of the Otolaryngology Clinic on the fourth floor of the Georgia Regents Medical Office Building at 1447 Harper St.

 

Postma named Vice Chairman of Otolaryngology at MCG

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dr. Gregory N. Postma, Director of the Center for Voice, Airway, and Swallowing Disorders at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is the new Vice Chairman of the MCG Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

“Dr. Postma is a top clinician, educator, and investigator, a strong leader, collaborator, and patient advocate, and we are excited to have him in this new role,” said Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Department Chairman.

Postma is an Examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology Oral Board and former President of the American Broncho-Esophagological Association and Dysphagia Research Society. He has been included among America’s Top Doctors since 2002, received a 2010 Distinguished Service Award from the American Academy of Otolaryngology, and a 2009 Presidential Citation from the American Broncho-Esophagological Association. He is a Councilor for the Dysphagia Research Society.

He came to MCG in 2005 from Wake Forest University where he was Associate Professor in the Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders. He is a 1984 graduate of Hahnemann University School of Medicine (now Drexel University College of Medicine) in Philadelphia. He completed a general surgery internship and otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency at the Naval Hospital in San Diego and Oakland, Calif., respectively. He was Chief Otolaryngology Resident at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1992-93 and completed a fellowship in laryngology and professional voice at Vanderbilt University before joining the Wake Forest faculty in 1995. He is a decorated U.S. Navy veteran.

Postma’s clinical interests include voice disorders, professional and singing voice care, dysphagia and associated swallowing disorders, airway surgery and reconstruction, spasmodic dysphonia, extraesophageal and gastroesophageal reflux, and chronic cough. A pioneer in office-based surgery, his research interests include extraesophageal reflux and surgical and non-surgical management of swallowing disorders.

Kountakis named Chairman of Otolaryngology at MCG

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, has been named department chairman.

Kountakis, who has been a faculty member for more than a decade, also directs the MCG/GRU Rhinology Fellowship and Otolaryngology Residency Program and the Georgia Sinus Center at GR Health System. He is Chief of the Department’s Section of Rhinology-Sinus Surgery and led GR Medical Associates, the group practice for MCG physicians, from 2010-12.

“Dr. Kountakis is an exceptional surgeon, educator, and leader at our institution and nationally,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, MCG Dean. “His commitment, enthusiasm, and skill will enable the continued targeted growth and strengthening of his department as well as our medical school.

“We must thank Dr. David Terris, named as the first otolaryngology chair a dozen years ago, for his incredible service and success. After building an exceptionally strong department, Dr. Terris has decided to focus more on his widely successful efforts to improve the field of thyroid and parathyroid surgery. We are fortunate that he will remain with us and to have Dr. Kountakis onboard and ready to assume this additional leadership responsibility.”

Kountakis, who becomes Chairman Sept. 1, will grow the pediatric otolaryngology program, including establishing a multidisciplinary Pediatric Airway Center, that will further strengthen critical care at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He also will grow the Section of Otology-Neurotology, which focuses on disorders of hearing and balance, and develop The Ear, Hearing, and Balance Disorders Center. Other plans include growing residency and fellowship training as well as research funding and scope.

“I am excited and honored by this opportunity,” Kountakis said. “Dr. Terris built a great department, and we intend to go boldly forward from here.”

Kountakis is Vice President of the American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Southern Section, and a member of the Board of Directors and Past President of the Georgia Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is Past President of the American Rhinologic Society and received the society’s 2011 Golden Mirror Teaching Award. He has served on the society’s Program Committee since 2007 and is a Program Committee member of The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society Sections Meeting coming up in San Diego in 2015.

Kountakis is Editor-in-Chief of the first encyclopedia of otolaryngology, the five-volume “Encyclopedia of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,” published by scientific, technological, and medical publisher Springer Science + Business Media. He is Co-Editor of the first comprehensive reference book on surgical techniques for the nose, sinuses, and sleep apnea. “Rhinologic and Sleep Apnea Surgical Techniques,” published by Springer, and Senior Editor of the first textbook on “The Frontal Sinus,” also published by Springer. Kountakis is Associate Editor of the International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, a member of the Editorial Board of Ear, Nose & Throat Journal, and a long-time member of the Review Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

He is a graduate of the University of Texas-Houston Medical School. He completed a general surgery residency at UT-Houston Medical School, Hermann Hospital MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Memorial Hospital System of the Texas Heart Institute; and an otolaryngology residency at UT-Houston Medical School, Hermann Hospital, Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital, and MacGregor Medical Associates. He completed a PhD at the University of Crete Medical School.

Aiken Standard: Barnwell teen heals after removal of rare tumor

Aiken Standard: July 13, 2014

Colton Bolen, a rising Barnwell High School sophomore, was suffering from juvenile nasopharyngeal angiofibroma, a vascular tumor mostly consisting of blood vessels that only occurs in adolescent males. This type of tumor is benign but grows rapidly.

Dr. George Harris, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Children’s Hospital of Georgia, and Dr. Scott Rahimi, a neurosurgeon at Georgia Regents Medical Center, teamed up to remove the tumor.

They were able to successfully do so through Colton’s nose and mouth without leaving any scars, and he is on the road to recovery.

Georgia’s first hybrid cochlear implant surgery performed here

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Sixty-five-year-old Nancy Abrol has waited her whole life to hear the sounds of nature, and with help from doctors at Georgia Regents Medical Center, the Watkinsville woman finally got her chance.

This week Abrol became the first patient in Georgia and just the second nationwide to receive a new hybrid cochlear implant, a small, complex electronic device that helps provide a sense of sound to patients who are profoundly deaf or severely hard-of-hearing. An implant can provide a useful representation of sounds by stimulating the inner ear, or cochlea.

Watch this story on TV.

“A cochlear implant consists of an external portion that sits behind the ear and a second portion that is surgically placed under the skin,” said Otolaryngologist Dr. Sarah Mowry, who implanted the device. “A traditional cochlear implant replaces the function of the cochlea, but the new hybrid device preserves as much of a patient’s natural hearing as possible instead of bypassing it entirely.”

And the biggest benefit, according to Mowry, is that the hybrid device gives patients back their high frequency hearing, something the traditional implant has been unable to do.

“This means patients can listen and appreciate music, hear and understand background noise, and tell where sounds are coming from,” said Mowry.

“It feels wonderful to hear the high pitch sounds,” said Abrol, while Audiologist Dr. Sarah King activated and tested her hearing with the hybrid device. “Now I can stop bothering my husband all the time to ask the lines in a movie or the words of a song. There are just so many things now that I’ll be able to hear.”

But why is hearing high pitches so important?

“It’s a huge safety issue,” said Mowry. “For instance, if you put the cell phone down, and it rings, you might hear it ring, but you can’t tell where it’s coming from.”

Abrol’s husband is glad she can hear squirrels, birds, and gurgling streams, but he’s much more pleased that she’ll be able to hear an ambulance on the highway and the smoke alarm at home.

“If someone honks the horn or blares a siren to warn of their approach, she’ll be able to safely move out of the way. Hearing these high frequencies will not only improve her quality of life, but it will help protect her from many dangers, and that’s very important,” Mony Abrol said.

Children’s Hospital to offer free asthma screenings Saturday

AsthmaScreeningweb (2)AUGUSTA, Ga. – Children’s Hospital of Georgia will provide free asthma screenings and education from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St. The event is funded by a grant from the Kohl’s Cares® program.

“Asthma affects more than 225,000 children in Georgia, and we want to do everything we can to provide education for patients and families,” said Jennifer Anderson, Director of Respiratory Care Services at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. “Our goal is to help patients manage their asthma and prevent adverse events.”

Asthma is a lifelong disease that targets the lungs, causing wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. Asthma triggers include smoke, mold, pet dander and air pollution. Although there is no cure, most people can control symptoms and prevent asthma attacks by avoiding triggers and correctly using prescribed medicine.

Kohl’s commitment to Children’s Hospital of Georgia is made possible through the Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program. Through this initiative, Kohl’s sells $5 books and plush toys where 100 percent of net profit benefits children’s health and education programs nationwide, including hospital partnerships like this one. Kohl’s has raised more than $231 million dollars through this merchandise program.

In addition to the merchandise program, Kohl’s Cares® features the Kohl’s Cares® Scholarship Program. Since 2001, Kohl’s has awarded more than $3.9 million in scholarships and prizes to more than 19,800 youth volunteers through its scholarship program. Kohl’s associates make a difference by volunteering in their communities and partnering with qualified nonprofits. More than 669,000 Associates have donated more than 2.2 million hours of their time since 2001 and Kohl’s has donated more than $63 million to nonprofits throughout the nation. For more information, visit www.Kohls.com/Cares.

For more information, contact Anderson at 706-721-3225 or janderson@gru.edu, or visit grhealth.org/kohlscares.

About Children’s Hospital of Georgia
The 154-bed not-for-profit Children’s Hospital of Georgia is the first children’s hospital in the South (circa 1910) and the second largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children.

About Kohl’s
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl’s operates 1,158 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl’s has raised more than $231 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl’s Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit www.Kohls.com, join the discussion on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Kohls) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Kohls) or get inspired on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/Kohls) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/Kohls).

Kountakis is Editor of first otolaryngology encyclopedia

Kountakiswebfront2[1]Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is Editor-in-Chief of the first encyclopedia of otolaryngology.

The five-volume “Encyclopedia of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,” published by scientific, technological and medical publisher Springer Science + Business Media, is available in hard copy and also will be published online to enable continuous updating. The online site, still being developed by Springer, http://refworks.springer.com/mrw/index.php?id=3509, should be fully operational in May.

“There is a lot of information out there, but we wanted to provide current and future health care professionals as well as libraries and institutions of higher education with comprehensive, well-sourced and readily searchable information in our specialty,” Kountakis said. The project has about 640 contributors with hyperlinks to cited articles and books as well as medical/scientific terms used in the text.

The encyclopedia covers otolaryngology’s five specialties: general otolaryngology, which includes Kountakis’ specialty rhinology-sinus surgery as well as sleep disorders and diseases related to the ears, nose and throat; pediatric otolaryngology; head and neck surgery; otology-neurology, which includes disorders of the ears and temporal bone; and facial and plastic reconstructive surgery of the head and neck.

“Anytime we need information, we go online to search it out and there is a lot of information out there,” said Kountakis. “We wanted to make sure credible sources were answering people’s questions. Other specialties have started doing this as well.”

While it took about three years of work to get to this point, Kountakis’ involvement is ongoing as he continues to work with section editors and contributors to ensure timely incorporation of scientific discoveries and new medical techniques into the online version.

“It took a lot of dedicated individuals to get this done and will continue to require the dedication of many to keep the encyclopedia optimally useful,” Kountakis said.  “For example, we selected world-renowned otolaryngologists with publishing experience as the Section Editors who continue to be pivotal to assessing and organizing such huge volumes of information.”

Section Editors for the new encyclopedia include Drs. Joseph B. Jacobs and Richard A. Lebowitz, New York University Langone Medical, general otolaryngology;  Dr. Kevin D. Pereira, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Dr. Ron B. Mitchell, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, pediatric otolaryngology; Drs. Scott P. Stringer and Kristen J. Otto, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, head and neck surgery; former MCG faculty member, Dr. Brian J. McKinnon, now at the Shea Ear Clinic in Memphis, Tenn.; and Dr. Ira D. Papel, Facial Plastic SurgiCenter, Baltimore, and Dr. Kofi Derek O. Boahene, The Johns Hopkins University, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Kountakis has worked with Springer as an editor of three other books, “The Frontal Sinus,” which also has been published in Chinese; “Rhinologic and Sleep Apnea Surgical Techniques,” and “Revision Sinus Surgery.”

An MCG faculty member for a decade, he directs the MCG/GRU Rhinology Fellowship and Otolaryngology Residency Program. He is a past President of the American Rhinologic Society and the Georgia Society of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery.

Kountakis is Editor of first otolaryngology encyclopedia

Kountakiswebfront2[1]Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is Editor-in-Chief of the first encyclopedia of otolaryngology.

The five-volume “Encyclopedia of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,” published by scientific, technological and medical publisher Springer Science + Business Media, is available in hard copy and also will be published online to enable continuous updating. The online site, still being developed by Springer, http://refworks.springer.com/mrw/index.php?id=3509, should be fully operational in May.

“There is a lot of information out there, but we wanted to provide current and future health care professionals as well as libraries and institutions of higher education with comprehensive, well-sourced and readily searchable information in our specialty,” Kountakis said. The project has about 640 contributors with hyperlinks to cited articles and books as well as medical/scientific terms used in the text.

The encyclopedia covers otolaryngology’s five specialties: general otolaryngology, which includes Kountakis’ specialty rhinology-sinus surgery as well as sleep disorders and diseases related to the ears, nose and throat; pediatric otolaryngology; head and neck surgery; otology-neurology, which includes disorders of the ears and temporal bone; and facial and plastic reconstructive surgery of the head and neck.

“Anytime we need information, we go online to search it out and there is a lot of information out there,” said Kountakis. “We wanted to make sure credible sources were answering people’s questions. Other specialties have started doing this as well.”

While it took about three years of work to get to this point, Kountakis’ involvement is ongoing as he continues to work with section editors and contributors to ensure timely incorporation of scientific discoveries and new medical techniques into the online version.

“It took a lot of dedicated individuals to get this done and will continue to require the dedication of many to keep the encyclopedia optimally useful,” Kountakis said.  “For example, we selected world-renowned otolaryngologists with publishing experience as the Section Editors who continue to be pivotal to assessing and organizing such huge volumes of information.”

Section Editors for the new encyclopedia include Drs. Joseph B. Jacobs and Richard A. Lebowitz, New York University Langone Medical, general otolaryngology;  Dr. Kevin D. Pereira, University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Dr. Ron B. Mitchell, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, pediatric otolaryngology; Drs. Scott P. Stringer and Kristen J. Otto, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, head and neck surgery; former MCG faculty member, Dr. Brian J. McKinnon, now at the Shea Ear Clinic in Memphis, Tenn.; and Dr. Ira D. Papel, Facial Plastic SurgiCenter, Baltimore, and Dr. Kofi Derek O. Boahene, The Johns Hopkins University, facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Kountakis has worked with Springer as an editor of three other books, “The Frontal Sinus,” which also has been published in Chinese; “Rhinologic and Sleep Apnea Surgical Techniques,” and “Revision Sinus Surgery.”

An MCG faculty member for a decade, he directs the MCG/GRU Rhinology Fellowship and Otolaryngology Residency Program. He is a past President of the American Rhinologic Society and the Georgia Society of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery.

GRU to host World Voice Day celebration with art exhibit

World Voice Day artThe Department of Otolaryngology, Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing Disorders and Institute of Regenerative and Reparative Medicine will celebrate World Voice Day April 16 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at OddFellows Gallery, 1036 Broad St., with “Tiny Worlds: Big Problem,” an art exhibition that includes patient art projects.

The World Voice Day exhibition, an artistic exploration of the voice and airway, will be on display at OddFellows Gallery April 12-30, and will then be moved to Georgia Regents Medical Center. Faculty and staff who have created art related to the voice and airway are invited to display their work at the exhibit.

World Voice Day, an annual worldwide event to celebrate the phenomenon of voice, recognizes the vital importance of the voice in our daily life, both as a communication tool and an application to numerous sciences, including physics, psychology, phonetics, art and biology. This year’s theme is “Connect with Your Voice.”

“World Voice Day was started in Brazil to increase awareness of larynx (voice box) cancer in physicians and patients,” said Dr. Gregory Postma, Director of the Georgia Regents Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders and GRU Professor of Otolaryngology. “It’s developed since then to all people who use their voice professionally. Most all of us are professional voice users, in one way or another. People aren’t aware of what an extraordinary handicap it is for people who have difficulties with their voice.”

Pediatric and adult airway patients, who either have no voice or lost their voice completely at some point, will create self-expressed art pieces at OddFellows Gallery, led by trained artists from GRU’s Summerville campus, high school art students and award-winning local artist Jill Stafford. The art will be displayed as part of the World Voice Day exhibition.

The event came about as an extension of the research being done at GRU by Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Dr. Paul Weinberger, which centers on regenerative medicine and airway reconstruction. He noted a unique artistic aspect to some of the materials being studied. Weinberger’s clinical practice focuses on voice and airway patients. “If someone has unexplained hoarseness for two weeks or more, they are encouraged to visit an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose and throat physician,” Weinberger said.

“That’s been huge for cancer issues,” Postma said. “So many of our patients have been hoarse for six or nine months and no one ever looks (at their throat). Then we look at them, and they’ve got a medium to a large tumor. If we had seen them five or six months earlier, there’s no telling how small it might have been. So we really like to see people earlier rather than later. In our practice in Augusta, we see more benign growths than cancerous growths, most commonly in singers, pastors and teachers.”

Otolaryngologists play a special role in the treatment of voice disorders. The evolution of physicians’ ability to diagnose and treat voice disorders has accelerated during the last few decades. Technological innovations have improved the ability to visualize the larynx and measure physiological functions involved in voice production. Endoscopic images can now also be seen in high-definition, making the diagnosis of even subtle abnormalities easier. In addition, the collaboration between otolaryngologists and speech-language pathologists has resulted in better and more comprehensive care for patients.

If you’re having difficulty swallowing or experiencing problems with your voice, contact the GRU Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing Disorders at 706-721-4400. To display your artwork in the exhibit, contact Kathy Schofe at 706-446-4802.